Ruler Through Box With Glass Trick Explained How It Is Done

Do you want to know how the ruler through box with glass trick is done by Pete Firman and Luke Perry?

How both of them could slide their metal ruler and sword through the solid glass piece inside the box respectively.

This wood box ruler and glass trick explained in detail how the penetration effect is done.

In addition, it is supported with relevant pictures, an illustration and video snippets to shore up the reveal.

As a cognoscente of magic tricks, I love to explore how magic tricks or stage illusions work.

Not just the methods of the trick, but the psychology behind magic.

How magic tricks fool with our perceptions and expectations; thus creating a sense of wonder and mystery.


NOTE: This is a revised and updated post. It was first published in September 9, 2022.


Firstly, that palm-sized wooden box is no ordinary box.

Ruler Through Box With Glass Trick explained

Ruler Through Box With Glass Trick Secret

Before I explained how Pete Firman and Luke Perry perform the penetration effect, let’s find out about the box in this closeup magic trick.

Ching Ling Coin Box

The small rectangle wooden box used by Pete Firman and Luke Perry is known as the Ching Ling Coin Box.

Ching Ling Coin Box

Normally magicians use a coin to perform with this wooden box magic trick.

Inside the small mechanical box lies a piece of glass (actually is a clear acrylic piece)

Penetration Through Solid Glass Close Up Magic Trick

Ching Ling Coin Box Explained

The magician opens the Ching Ling Coin Box.

Show there is a piece of glass which fitted snugly inside, that blocks both slots when the box is closed.

Then the magician drops a coin into the top slot.

Magically the coin seems to go through the glass, and falls out from the bottom slot.

Ching Ling Coin Box Secret

The secret of the Ching Ling Coin Box is there is a hidden pivoted door on one side of the box.

It can swivel open, as shown below.

Ching Ling Coin Box Secret

As the performer pulls down the cover, simultaneously his thumb presses on the top part of the pivoted door.

The top part of the door swivels inward, thus there is an opening below it.

Below picture is the Ching Ling Coin Box with the opened pivoted door.

Ching Ling Coin Box Trick Revealed

To do the glass penetration trick, the magician tilts the wooden box towards him.

Hence the glass piece slips out slightly through the opening.

Now the two slots of the box are not being blocked by the glass piece anymore.

Thereby the coin can go through both slots.

To end the trick, the magician tilts the box forward to drop the glass piece back in place.

To close the pivoted door back into the wall of the box, he presses the bottom part of the door inward.

Ching Ling Coin Box Glass Exposed

Here is a demo video of the Ching Ling Coin Box where you can see the dropped out glass piece, at 0:48.

Ching Ling Coin Box Trick Revealed

To see it clearer, slow down the playback speed to 0.25.

You can find out more details about this conjuring trick prop in my earlier post, Ching Ling Coin Box Explained.


Similar Magic Trick: 

Then there is another similar wooden box, but with round holes for steel ball penetration.

This is another close-up magic trick with penetration of solid through solid effect.

Steel Ball Through Glass Magic Trick Box

The trick secret of the steel ball through glass inside a box is the same as the Ching Ling Coin Box.

You can find out more in my past post, titled Steel Ball Through Glass Revealed and Explained.


Ruler Box Glass Trick Explained

Now let’s get back to Pete Firman’s metal ruler through glass box trick.

Watch Pete Firman & Luke Perry using the ruler/sword through the Ching Ling Coin Box trick.

You can also watch the just Pete Firman performing the ruler with the Ching Ling Coin Box over here or here.

As I have mentioned normally magicians use a coin to perform this penetration through the glass trick.

But Pete Firman came out with an interesting Ching Ling Coin Box routine, by using a metal ruler.

To do the trick, Pete Firman still uses the secret pivoted door as I have explained earlier.

They can still safely turn the box around to a certain degree.

But they still cannot fully show the side of the box with the secret opening, as indicated in the picture below.

Ching Ling Coin Box Pete Firman

It is because the edge of the glass piece is beneath the swivel door, outside the box.

So how do they position the glass piece inside the Ching Ling Coin Box?

Ching Ling Coin Box Glass Piece Position

This is what I think how Pete Firman set it up before performing the ruler through glass box trick.

He turns the pivoted door out slightly, wide enough to let a small part of the glass edge outside the box.

Using his thumb to press and hold down this glass edge.

That’s why you can see the fresh deep indentation on Pete Firman’s right thumb, when he just finishes the trick.

Pete Firman Ruler Through Glass Trick

That is the mark caused by the the edge of the glass, where his thumb was pressing on it.

The other glass edge is now pointing upward inside the box.

While holding the glass piece diagonally inside the box, he inserts the metal ruler through the bottom slot.

Next he pulls the box lid down to let the ruler goes through the top slot, before closing it.

This is the position of the glass piece, as indicated below.

Ruler Through Glass Trick Explained

The dotted black line is side-view of the glass piece.

The bottom glass edge is trapped at the slightly-opened pivoted door at the bottom of the box.

While the top glass edge is leaning against the ruler.

Hence, his two fingers are wide enough to block the pivoted door with the slim glass edge.

Glass Piece Lean On Ruler

Most probably the edge of the glass piece inside the box could be touching or leaning slightly onto the metal ruler.

Probably that’s why Pete Firman continues to keep the metal ruler towards the left edge of the slot as seen below.

Ruler Penetrates Through Glass Magic Trick

At the end of the trick, he pulls out the metal ruler, and the glass piece drops down into the bottom of the box.

Close The Ching Coin Box Secret Door

At 0:12 Pete Firman tilts the box downward.

Then his left thumb closes up the pivoted door back into wall of the box.

Ruler Through Glass Trick secret

Luke Perry uses his right hand middle finger to close the slightly opened pivoted door at 0:10, just before he unclasps it.

Pete Firman Puzzle Box Trick

This is how the ruler through box with glass trick is done.

Wooden Puzzle Box With Glass Explained TikTok

Almost half a year later (this post published in September 2022), someone used this blog post pictures in his TikTok video.

Ruler Through Glass Puzzle Box Revealed TikTok

By the way, a big thank to Yusuf Rasool for sharing this blog post on Pinterest.

Ruler Through Box Trick

In addition, there is another TikTok video which confirmed the trick is definitely done with the pivoted door.

At 00:05, you can see his left thumb rushes over to press down the opened pivoted door.

Ruler Thru Glass Trick TikTok

By don’t way, don’t get tricked by the so-called gimmick ruler, which he does not demonstrate it anyway!

To conclude, this is my wooden box with glass magic trick explained.

Knife Through Glass In Box Trick Revealed

Similarly, there is another version of glass in a box trick using a knife, or rather a dagger.

Again I have fully explained and revealed the knife through the glass in Ching Ling Coin Box trick.

Knife Penetrates Glass Magic Trick Explained

The trick method is the same as what Pete Firman does in his Ruler Box Glass Trick video.

READ ALSO: Here are three more magic tricks with glass penetration revealed and explained in detail how they are done:

Dove Through Glass Trick Secret Exposed

Liquid Glass Stage Illusion Explained

Wonder Window Tenyo Magic Trick Secret Exposed